This Surah consists of 8 verses, 27 sentences, 103 letters and 1 Rukuí.
The Sura is so designated after the first sentence.
Its subject matter so closely resembles that of Surah Ad-Duha that both these Surah seem to have been revealed in about the same period under similar conditions. According to Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas, it was sent down in Makkah just after wad-Duha.
The aim and object of this Surah too is to console and encourage the Holy Messenger (upon whom be Allah's peace). Before his call he never had to encounter the conditions which he suddenly had to encounter after it when he embarked on his mission of inviting the people to Islam. This was by itself a great revolution in his own life of which he had no idea in his life before Prophethood. No sooner had he started preaching the message of Islam than the same society which had esteemed him with unique honour, turned hostile to him. The same relatives and friends, the same clansmen and neighbours, who used to treat him with the highest respect, began to shower him with abuse and invective. No one in Makkah was prepared to listen to him; he began to be ridiculed and mocked in the street and on the road; and at every step he had to face new difficulties. Although gradually he became accustomed to the hardships, even much severer ones, yet the initial stage was very discouraging for him. That is why first Surah Ad-Duha was sent down to console him, and then this Surah.
In it, at the outset, Allah says: "We have favoured you, O Prophet, with three great blessings; therefore you have no cause to be disheartened. The first is the blessing of Sharh Sadr (opening up of the breast), the second of removing from you the heavy burden that was weighing down your back before the call, and the third of exalting your renown the like of which has never been granted to any man before. Further below in the notes we have explained what is implied by each of these blessings and how great and unique these blessings indeed are!
After this, the Lord and Sustainer of the universe has reassured His Servant and Messenger (upon whom be peace) that the period of hardships which he is passing through, is not very long, but following close behind it there is also a period of ease. This same thing has been described in Surah Ad-Duha, saying: "Every later period is better for you than the former period, and soon your Lord will give you so much that you will be well pleased."
In conclusion, the Holy Prophet has been instructed, so as to say, "You can develop the power to bear and resist the hardships of the initial stage only by one means, and it is this: `When you are free from your occupations, you should devote yourself to the labour and toil of worship, and turn all your attention exclusively to your Lord'." This same instruction has been given him in much greater detail in Surah Al-Muzzammil 1-9.
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
94 : 1
1. Alam nashrah laka sadraka
Have We not expanded your bosom, -
94 : 2
2. WawadaAAna AAanka wizraka
And relieve you of the burden, -
94 : 3
3. Allathee anqada thahraka
Which was crushing your back -
94 : 4
4. WarafaAAna laka thikraka
And exalted your fame?
94 : 5
5. Fa-inna maAAa alAAusri yusran
But verily asperity and ease follow one another, -
94 : 6
6. Inna maAAa alAAusri yusran
And verily asperity and ease follow one another!
94 : 7
7. Fa-itha faraghta fainsab
So when you are relieved, resume your worship -
94 : 8
8. Wa-ila rabbika fairghab
And concentrate upon none save your Lord! (R)
1. Have We not opened your breast for you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him))?
2. And removed from you your burden,
3. Which weighed down your back?
4. And raised high your fame?
5. So verily, with the hardship, there is relief,
6. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).
7. So when you have finished (from your occupation), then stand up for All‚h's worship (i.e. stand up for prayer).
8. And to your Lord (Alone) turn (all your intentions and hopes and) your invocations.
YUSUFALI: Have We not expanded thee thy breast?-
PICKTHAL: Have We not caused thy bosom to dilate,
SHAKIR: Have We not expanded for you your breast,
YUSUFALI: And removed from thee thy burden
PICKTHAL: And eased thee of the burden
SHAKIR: And taken off from you your burden,
YUSUFALI: The which did gall thy back?-
PICKTHAL: Which weighed down thy back;
SHAKIR: Which pressed heavily upon your back,
YUSUFALI: And raised high the esteem (in which) thou (art held)?
PICKTHAL: And exalted thy fame?
SHAKIR: And exalted for you your esteem?
YUSUFALI: So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief:
PICKTHAL: But lo! with hardship goeth ease,
SHAKIR: Surely with difficulty is ease.
YUSUFALI: Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.
PICKTHAL: Lo! with hardship goeth ease;
SHAKIR: With difficulty is surely ease.
YUSUFALI: Therefore, when thou art free (from thine immediate task), still labour hard,
PICKTHAL: So when thou art relieved, still toil
SHAKIR: So when you are free, nominate.
YUSUFALI: And to thy Lord turn (all) thy attention.
PICKTHAL: And strive to please thy Lord.
SHAKIR: And make your Lord your exclusive object.